Solo Review Days

For the next couple of weeks this blog will be running differently:
one of us is not sitting next to the other one watching the same
films. We are going to report on our separate cinema experiences instead.
Mostly this honor will be Nick's, but today I (Astrid) have the privilege
to begin.

Pierrot Le Fou (1965) Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

Watching Pierrot Le Fou for the second time confirms to me that it
really is one of my favorite movies. Ever. With the actors
Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo, Godard creates an almost
unbearably good-looking and stylish film. The movie proves to me
how surface and content are equally important. Sometimes surface
is the content. And the French seem to know more about this than
anyone else.

The story of the two lover's roadtrip or a getaway drive is dream-like.
It's a fairytale possibly happening only in the imagination of
Fernand as he is taking his family nanny, Marianne, back to
her home at night. Whatever the motivation in the story, I love
how it flows: from Paris to small roads, in stolen cars, by foot,
to the seaside, to domestic settling, boredom, back to traveling
and the end. Marianne (Karina) kills many troubling people on
the way. Outfits change from great dresses and suits to other
beautiful concoctions at least for times – so do cars.

Fernand/Pierrot is always reading and quoting Baudrillard.
Why does Marianne insist on calling him Pierrot?
He is the imagination, she is the action and the impulse.
Godard uses film as if a philosopher writing his theory.
This is not only entertainment, because the director demands
you to become aware of your position as a viewer.
In the middle of the couple's discussion both characters
sometimes look into the camera, Belmondo even speaks
to the audience commenting on Karina's character.
These breaks in the film's internal order turn it into an
intellectual and emotional study of structure and context.
They break borders.

But even without the clever ideas, great lines, internal jokes,
just the visual 1960's feast of color and shape is enough.


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